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Obama’s war: How does striking Syria on behalf of Al Qaida boost U.S. interests?

Jeffrey T. Kuhner

U.S. military intervention in Syria would be immoral, illegal and treasonous. It would benefit our mortal enemy, Al Qaida, and possibly trigger a wider Mideast war.

President Obama is playing with fire. He is dangerously putting his ego above the national interest. Bombing Syria threatens to leave his presidency in tatters.

In August 2012, Mr. Obama publicly drew a “red line” in Syria’s bloody civil war. He vowed that the use of chemical weapons would trigger a muscular U.S. response. Mr. Obama — along with Britain and France — claims that Syrian strongman Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against rebel forces outside the capital of Damascus, murdering hundreds of civilians — including women and children. Mr. Obama’s “red line” has supposedly been crossed.
ObSyr-300x199This is false. The administration is engaging in war propaganda eerily similar to Iraq. And the costs could eventually be as disastrous — or worse.

The evidence is flimsy that Assad’s forces used nerve gas in rebel-held territory. The United Nations inspection team has been unable to irrefutably confirm it. According to Associated Press reports, even U.S. intelligence officials are conceding that the links between the chemical weapons attack and the Assad regime are tenuous at best.

The reason is obvious: The Syrian dictator has no rational motive to use weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Assad’s forces are winning. The Islamist rebels are on the run. Their supply lines are cut-off. They have been fragmented into several isolated pockets of resistance. The rebels cannot win — and they know it. Why would Assad use WMD knowing that it would trigger widespread international anger and furor? Using conventional weapons, his military has been winning battle after battle. Assad may be brutal, ruthless and cunning, but he is not stupid.

The rebels, however, have a major incentive to use WMD upon their own population to garner international sympathy. The Islamist opposition cannot win unless — as in Libya — they enlist Western military intervention. They know that pictures of children allegedly gassed to death will strike at the conscience of Western governments.

From the onset of Syria’s civil war, the country’s huge stockpile of biological and chemical weapons has not been secured. The rebels have captured some of the WMD, while stockpiles also have fallen into the hands of Hizbullah and other Assad allies. Hence, there is no conclusive proof — none — that Assad directly ordered the massacre outside Damascus. In fact, the very opposite is probably true. Mr. Obama wants to bomb Syria based on a lie.

Moreover, contrary to the liberal media’s spin, the rebels are not “freedom fighters,” the Arab version of American colonists. Rather, their ranks and leadership are filled with Islamic jihadists, many of whom have ties to Al Qaida. Their goal is to forge a Sunni Muslim theocracy — an Islamist Syria. They seek to eradicate the country’s minority Shi’ite Alawites and Christians. Their slogan is: “The Alawites to the wall, the Christians to Beirut.”

In fact, throughout the vicious civil war, Islamist rebels have committed countless atrocities against innocent Syrians. For example, Christian churches have been burned. Priests and nuns murdered. Entire families slaughtered. And Mr. Obama wants America to aid these Islamist fanatics in their struggle against Assad’s iron rule? It is the act of the highest hubris and folly.

Think about this: The president seeks to turn American air power into Al Qaida’s de facto air force. Our government is now providing weapons, assistance and training to some members of the very terrorist group responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed 3,000 Americans. Mr. Obama’s bombing campaign would inevitably help Al Qaida capture Syria, thereby possibly transforming it into a jihadist safe haven. This is not only geopolitical suicide. It is borderline treasonous.

Iran, Russia, China and Hizbullah back Assad’s regime. Saudi Arabia and Turkey are siding with the Sunni Islamist rebels. Our intervention, however limited and punitive, would entangle America into a regional snake pit. Once Tomahawk missiles start flying, the blowback could be immense, dragging us into a larger Mideast — and even — global war.

Iran is threatening to rain missiles on Israel in the wake of a U.S. strike on Syria.

Russia is sending warships to the region. Hizbullah is threatening to retaliate against American military installations and embassies in the region.

World War I began in a tiny corner of the Balkans. America is sleepwalking into another possible catastrophe.

Besides being reckless, immoral and dangerous, bombing Syria is illegal. Mr. Obama plans to go to war without the approval of Congress. This blatantly violates the Constitution and the separation of powers. Only Congress can authorize the use of military force, especially a campaign that effectively puts the United States on the same side as Al Qaida. This is why over 100 lawmakers are demanding that no military action be taken without prior congressional support. If the president ignores Congress, then he must be held accountable. Impeachment proceedings should begin.

Mr. Obama seeks to bomb a nation that has not attacked or even threatened us. The Syrian civil war is none of our business. We have no dog in that fight.

The president has made a fatal mistake: Don’t utter threats you cannot back-up. He never should have drawn a red line. To salvage his credibility and pride, he is now on the cusp of a foreign policy debacle. Yet, the real red line is on him. He crosses it at his peril.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a celebrated talk radio host at Boston’s WRKO and a columnist for The Washington Times and WorldTribune.com.

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